After sitting out last year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has stormed back to land 22 nominations and claim the title of the most-nominated primetime series in Emmy history.
The new nominations bring the “Game of Thrones” total to 129, which beats the previous record for drama held by NBC’s long-running series “ER,” which debuted in 1994 and stayed on the air until 2009.
While “ER” was on the air for 15 seasons and received at least one Emmy nomination in every one of those seasons, “Game of Thrones” has broken its record in only seven seasons.
This year’s tally also pushed “Game of Thrones” past the 117 nominations received by “Cheers,” which holds the record for a comedy series.
The most nominated program of any kind is “Saturday Night Live,” which broke its own record this year and now has 252.
“Game of Thrones” received 13 nominations in 2011 for its first season, and 11 nominations in 2012 for Season 2. It then increased its number of nominations for each of the next three seasons, landing 16 in 2013, 19 in 2014 and 24 in 2015. Its total dropped by one in 2016 to 23, but that brought in within striking distance of the record held by “ER.”
Its nominations this year include an Outstanding Drama Series nod as well as acting nominations for Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey and Diana Rigg. Dinklage is now the most nominated actor ever in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category, with seven.
The series won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 2015 and 2016, the last two years in which it was eligible. It wasn’t in the running last year because delays in the complicated production pushed the premiere date for Season 7 past the eligibility period. In its absence, “The Handmaid’s Tale” won the top drama-series Emmy.
The final season of “Game of Thrones” is now wrapping production in Europe. To date, HBO has not announced if it will air during the June 1, 2018-May 31, 2019 window for the 2019 Emmys, or whether it will have to skip another year of eligibility.